In the presidential race between Trump and Clinton voters are increasingly skeptic of the honesty and integrity of the candidates. The election reminds one of God’s lament in Hosea 8:5, ‘They set up kings without my consent; they choose princes without my approval.’ It is still true that a leader makes or breaks a country by his or her love for, or rejection of, the Lord. Let us look at two Biblical examples.
# Saul, the first king of Israel
The Israelites wanted a king like all the other nations. They rejected the leadership of God. So God consented and gave them Saul as their king. He was a strapping young man, taller than most. 1
- Saul proved to be quite an able soldier. Initially he lead his people to defeat their enemies.
- The only problem was that he just couldn’t follow God wholeheartedly.
- He also fell into the jealousy trap of the devil. He spent valuable years persecuting the future king, David, and logically neglected the country.
- So the Philistines were eventually victorious at the battle on Mount Gilboa and Saul and his 2 sons died there. 2
# David the second king of Israel
- He was an ordinary man, but had a lion’s heart. He defeated the giant, Goliath, and was victorious against the enemies of Israel. 3
- Unfortunately he lost the battle against temptation. He sinned with Bathsheba. It cost him their baby and his sons Amon, Absalom and Adoniah. It caused a lot of turmoil in his family that affected the kingdom.
- Despite that, David thoroughly repented. He never deviated from his loyalty and love for God. God helped him to defeat Israel’s enemies. He also devoted his later years to organise the temple worship and prepared much of the material to build it. The temple would be God’s dwelling that He would fill with His glory. 4 That is why we believe God said of David, ‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’ 5
We learn from Saul and David that a leader can make quite serious personal mistakes, but if a leader loves the Lord, the country prospers.
- 1 Samuel 8:4-9; 9:2; 10:1
- 1 Samuel 31:1-10
- 1 Samuel 17-18
- 2 Chronicles 7:1-2
- Acts 13:22